The man poised to become the first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention comes from humble beginnings in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward.
The Rev. Fred Luter, Jr., is the founder of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, which he built from a struggling inner-city church into a multi-branch megachurch with a following of thousands.
When the nation's largest Protestant denomination has its annual meeting next week in New Orleans, Luter will likely be elected to the top position. He currently has no declared opponents.
It's a big step for a denomination that was formed out of a pre-Civil War split with northern Baptists over slavery and for much of the last century had a reputation for supporting segregation in worship.